Bill Text: HI HR163 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Requesting The Department Of Health To Convene A Task Force To Evaluate Issues Surrounding Mandatory Mental Health Examinations For Patients Who Exhibit Behavior Deemed By Law Enforcement To Be An Imminent Threat To Self Or Others.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2019-03-14 - Referred to PVM/HLT, FIN, referral sheet 33 [HR163 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-HR163-Introduced.html


H.R. NO.













Requesting the Department of health TO convene a task force to EVALUATE issues surrounding mandatory mental health examinations for patients who exhibit behavior deemed by law enforcement to be an imminent threat to self or others.




     WHEREAS, under section 334-59, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), any person who exhibits behavior that is deemed by law enforcement to be an imminent threat to self or others shall be transported to a licensed psychiatric facility to receive an emergency examination to determine whether the individual should be hospitalized; and


     WHEREAS, this process is often referred to as an "MH-1", and there are currently 16 facilities that are designated by the Department of Health to receive MH-1 patients, including acute care hospitals and a federally qualified health center; and


     WHEREAS, some of the facilities designated by the Department of Health receive an outsized number of MH-1 patients, with the increased volumes straining the ability of those facilities to provide care to all residents in the State; and


     WHEREAS, some operators of those facilities do not believe they are equipped to take care of MH-1 patients because of a lack of adequate infrastructure as well as concerns for patient and staff safety; and


     WHEREAS, some MH-1 patients may benefit from transport to alternative health care services as not all require an emergency psychiatric evaluation or hospital services; and


     WHEREAS, support and directions are needed for law enforcement to ensure that patients transported under section 334-59, HRS, are directed to the most appropriate setting of care; and

     WHEREAS, there is a need to determine the state-wide capacity for inpatient and outpatient mental health services, to identify gaps in service availability and barriers to getting to the appropriate setting of care for those individuals in crisis; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, that the Department of Health is requested to convene a task force to evaluate the issues surrounding mandatory health examinations for patients who exhibit behaviors deemed by law enforcement to be an imminent threat to self or others; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this task force is requested to:


     (1)  Develop criteria for the designation of facilities by the Director of Health for the purpose of transport, examination, and treatment of MH-1 patients;


     (2)  Review current law and identify areas that may need clarification to standardize consistent and appropriate transportation of MH-1 patients in jurisdictions statewide;


     (3)  Review law enforcement protocols and procedures to ensure patients are appropriately transported under section 334-59, HRS;


     (4)  Develop recommendations for appropriate distribution of patient transport for emergency examination across healthcare facilities in a given county;


     (5)  Provide an assessment of current needs and capacities for evaluation and treatment of patients in need of acute mental health assessment and treatment, including the availability of beds and services necessary to treating patients experiencing a mental health crisis, preventing crisis situations, and avoiding unnecessary transport of patients;

     (6)  Develop recommendations for building a coordinated system of care with capacity for crisis services, community services, and outpatient and inpatient services to address the needs of persons with mental illnesses, including substance use disorders, who are in crisis; provided that these recommendations shall include discussions on alternative sites of treatment; and


     (7)  Develop recommendations for reimbursement to support these efforts; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Health is requested to invite the participation of:


     (1)  A representative from the Behavioral Health Administration of the Department of Health;


     (2)  A representative from the Department of Human Services;


     (3)  A representative from each private non-profit hospital or health center in the State;


     (4)  A representative from each region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation;


     (5)  A representative from any qualified federal health center designated to receive patients under section 334-59, HRS;


     (6)  A representative from a residential mental health or substance abuse treatment facility;


     (7)  A representative from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii;


     (8)  A representative from the police department of each county;

     (9)  A representative from a mental health service provider from each county; and


    (10)  Any other representatives the Director of Health, or the Director's designee, deems necessary; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Deputy Director of the Behavioral Health Administration at the Department of Health shall serve as the chair of the task force; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2020; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health; Director of Human Services; the Chief of Police of the police department of each county; the Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation; and the President of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.









Report Title: 

Task Force; Mental Health Examinations